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Lorraine is a nurse specialist and sex therapist and volunteers here to answer your...
Please can anyone tell me why my work should feel the need to put me on medical suspension due to the fact they feel i am at high risk due to covid and my prostate cancer. At this stage i have started my hormone therapy which gives me a few side effects which vary from day to day and have been documented to my doctor and specialist. I have also received a 12 week self shielding letter from the government / doctors due to copd and have been told i cant go against this letter by my GP. please could anyone tell me how i stand with this situation only i am starting to get anxious about losing my job or is this a standard work procedure?
Also please could you tell me what i should expect going forward with ref to side effects from the external beam radiotherapy and is it necessary for the hospital to have to perform fiducial marker insertion or is there any other way?
Thanks in advance
The main reason for shielding is probably your COPD My wife us the same although she does not have COPD she has life long sever asthma, broinchiectasis and more recently aspergillosis - so would be in a heck of a state if she were to contract Covid 19. This may be something that you need to talk to your GP about and your line manager at work or contact a cancer charity such as Macmillan, Tenovus to see what their advice is on the shielding. Your employers shoudl not be holding your health against you,
You can have the RT without the insertion of fiducial markers but this is a fantastic way of minimising side effects from RT by targetting the RT beams better and more accurately and therefore avoiding most of the collateral damage from the beams going into the bladder or bowel - depending on where your tumour is situated etc. I had this and am so glad I did because I had pre-existing conditions with both bladder and bowel which could have been made a lot worse from collateral damage from the RT. I firmly believe from talking to the other men in the waiting room during my RT who did not have the fiducial markers that this saved me from bowel problems during RT as my tumour was pushing out onto the rectum so normally I would have expected bowel problems about half way through the RT. As for bladder problems I only had one night where I had to get up lots - maybe 20 times to go to pass urine. So, it seems that the fiducial markers worked for me. There is no problem having them put in you have a scan and they are positioned then - certainly better - for me anyway than the biopsy. Took about an hour and then drove home. Why do you not want fiducial markers used?
In answer to your question about fiducial markers there are RT treatments that don't use the markers but as Des has said this is the latest RT and the best way of avoiding any potential damage to the surrounding area.
The procedure to having the markers inserted is ok, a bit uncomfortable but not as bad as a biopsy.
I would say that it's def worth going thru with this small extra procedure.
Also, don't forget gold is increasing in value at the moment.
I don't know what you do for a job or how long you have been in it but suspect one important reason for your employer to put you off work is because they could be held liable should you suffer illness or complications from existing illness (your COPD?) if they alow you to continue to work when they know about your situation. You could ask them to clarify, although I suspect from your comments you would feel uncomfortable doing this so an alternative would be to contact Macmillan who can give you employment related advice as well as other advice including financial if this is also a concern for you.
I hope you get this sorted quickly, you don't need a load of worry to do with your job on top of your diagnosis.
Thank you for your reply i just dont know what to do for the best you follow your doctors / governments advice thinking you are doing the right thing and then since reading up on the subject on Gov.uk this morning it states its your choice if you follow the 12 week shielding program .
If you read the letters from the hospital It also states some people can work having no problems on the hormone medication however some cant. But i seem to be getting some side effects from them ie tiredness nausea dizzy spells along with balance issues my occupation is a class one hgv driver.
Thank you once again for your reply
As the others have said the procedure to insert the fiducial markers is pretty painless compared to the biopsy and is very quick although you will have to take an antibiotic an hour before just to be sure there is no post operative infection. About two weeks after the markers are inserted you should have a planning scan where you will also get three tiny tattoos.
I did have some bowel and bladder problems during the second two weeks of RT but they all cleared up a few weeks later. If you do have any problems be sure to let the radiographers know and they will get it sorted out quickly.
The information on the gov.uk website is slightly misleading as, although you can choose not to abide by the 12 week shielding, your employer cannot without being liable to prosecution. A rock and a hard place.
Good luck with your journey.
Keep well and stay safe.
Thank you for your reply my main reason for not wanting them done is that when i had biopsy's done i found it to be very painful and have suffered ever since with toiletry issues in general.
I said when i had it done i would never have it done again however when i received my paperwork from the hospital they are saying they will be doing fiducial markers which is almost the same as biopsies but in reverse from what i can make out ?. I would rather have the operation done but they are saying i cant due to my copd and my ankylosing spondylitis i have to say sometimes i wish i had never started this journey.
Once again thank you for your reply
and hope you are keeping well
Lol ref the price of gold my wife is already talking about cashing me in. I was not happy with having
the biopsies done one bit and as i have already said i have suffered ever since with toiletry issues and now on
medication to help with that which up till this point don't seem to be helping much.
Thank you for your advise and thoughts on fiducial markers it all helps going forward
hope you are keeping well
Thank you for your reply
and advice on the procedure it all helps me going forward as i say i am already having toiletry issues from the biopsies
and dont fancy anything else being done in that respect.
As you say ref work and the governments web site ref the 12 week isolation it not very clear which does not help me much all
work is saying is that they are doing it due to me being a high risk due to my cancer which i dont understand seeing as im only
on hormone medication at this stage however the medication does seem to be giving me some side effects.
once again thank you for you reply and hope you are keeping well
I dont know if my replies are going to each person for there response however if they are not i would like to thank you all so far
for your kind advise and in future i will put your names to my reply sorry about this im new on here i am clicking on the reply button but dont think it goes to each person.
All replies on the thread will be seen by everyone who views it. If you want to direct your reply at a particular person then just put their name in that part of your message.
For example putting @Seamus47 at the start of a paragraph will bring it to my attention.
The biopsy is carried out thru the rectum/back passage whereas insertion of the gold markers , I think about 3 or 4, is thru the perineum.
There is less chance of problems because of this. I think.
Hope all goes well
Thanks grundo /Steve
That helps me a little i thought it was done similar to the biopsies
i will have a look on doctor google should i dare lol
hope you are well
Ok, while online u can keep checking the gold price as well
Yes, my wife's friend keeps talking about the price of gold ever since I had my fiducial markers put in about 4 years ago.
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